Born and raised in South Africa, Kagiso Lesego Molope graduated from the University of Cape Town and moved to Toronto at age 21. She has been involved in human rights advocacy, counseling, and filmmaking.

Her first novel, Dancing in the Dust, was put on the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) list for 2006, making her the first Black South African to make the list. Her next two novels, The Mending Season and This Book Betrays My Brother, both set in South Africa in the early 1990s, are read in schools across Southern Africa. The Globe and Mail acclaims her work as “cinematic in clarity. Molope makes her reader see and understand…feel the enormity of apartheid’s atrocity.”

Kagiso has strong views about writing for young people: “I always hoped to read books that reflected my own reality in school but I never did. This is why, whenever I have the choice, I go with a publisher who works to bring my work into schools. I think sitting in a classroom discussing current events or experiences that you’ve had is very empowering; it makes you feel like you have a voice and gives you choices about how to deal with your realities.”

Appearing in: Keeping Secrets: YA Fiction